U.S. Supreme Court Hears Security Screening Wage and Hour Case

On October 8, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on a wage and hour case filed by employees of a warehouse business.  The business provides storage facilities and order-filling staff for companies that include Amazon.  Employees are required to stand in line and undergo a security screening after completing their work shifts and before leaving the premises.  Like many employers, this company requires this sort of screening to protect against employee theft.  The process of standing in line and undergoing the screening can take about a half hour per shift.

The issue before the Supreme Court is whether the employees must be paid for the time they spend standing in line and undergoing the security screening.  The argument by the employer is that the employees have completed their work for the day prior to undergoing the screening and that the security screening is not an integral part of the employees’ regular job duties.  For this reason, the employer argues that employees are not entitled to be paid for the time spent waiting in line and undergoing the screenings.  The argument by the employees is that the security screening is a job requirement imposed for the benefit of the employer, and for this reason the employees should be paid for their time.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision in this case during the first half of 2015.

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